Tuesday, January 26, 2016

natural bird feeders

We recently made bird feeders to hang out in the bare trees in the backyard. Using citrus halves, peanut butter, seeds, oats, raisins, and hemp twine we quickly made little feeders to support the birds that stay around for the Wisconsin winters.

After we cut grapefruits and tangerines in half we scooped out the fruit to make little bowls to hold the bird food mixture. We used pencils to poke three holes evenly around the peels, far enough down so that the peels wouldn't tear when we hung them. We threaded hemp twine through each of the holes and knotted these to a longer piece of twine for tying onto the branches.

Then we prepared our concoction to fill the little citrus bowls. We mixed together raw sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, oats, and raisins, and used natural peanut butter as a binder. Coconut oil would also work well to hold the seeds and dried fruit together and to provide natural fats. Because the peanut butter was a bit dry we added back in some of the citrus juice to hold it together. Then we packed the mixture into the little citrus bowls and hung them in the trees.

We hung four of our feeders in a tree that we can easily see from the window, and enjoyed the show put on by the lively chickadees. The chickadees (and other birds) also enjoy the apples that were left over on our abundant apple trees this year.

These little feeders were fun and easy to make, and it was even more fun to watch the birds enjoy our offering!

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